MLA Column: Calling for a public inquiry into money-laundering in British Columbia

Adam Olsen is the BC Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands

MLA Column: Calling for a public inquiry into money-laundering in British Columbia

On Feb. 26, I and my BC Green Caucus colleagues, called for a full independent public inquiry into money-laundering in British Columbia.

The call came after two weeks of questions in Question Period on the deeply troubling connections in our casinos, real estate market, luxury cars, horse racing, drug cartels and opioid crisis.

Our Attorney General, David Eby, clearly has a handle on this file. With Dr. Peter German’s first report opening a crack in the door, and two further reports to come by the end of March, the investigation is well underway.

READ ALSO: B.C. moves closer to money laundering public inquiry; feds vow ‘crack down’

The constant flow of allegations in the media is really disturbing. It is shocking that this situation has gotten so out of hand.

When I asked Minister Eby about money-laundering in Question Period he responded,

“But even more serious than that is when you look at cases like PacNet. PacNet is a firm that was alleged to be involved in laundering the proceeds of lottery schemes in the United States, cheques from seniors written out to various scams and sent up, actually, to Vancouver, allegedly, to be processed. It’s listed as one of the top five transnational criminal organizations in the world by the Obama administration. They were actually getting tax credits from Advantage B.C.”

READ ALSO: B.C. minister fears money laundering involves billions of dollars, cites reports

These are really explosive allegations. A provincial government entity handing out tax credits to a known transnational criminal organization. That is about as bad as it gets. It’s outrageous.

So, we did not jump on this call quickly. We did our work in the Legislature and came to the conclusion that more needs to be done.

Time for a public inquiry.

I am confident that Minister Eby will continue to push investigations to root out the criminal activity wherever it is.

But, we need an independent public inquiry to look at the systemic issues. Somehow our institutions allowed this rot to grow. We need to make sure it does not happen again.

Confidence in government and our institutions is shaken.

So, we must act to rebuild trust.

Adam Olsen is the BC Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands.

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP K9 Halla. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sound of RCMP dog enough to stop suspects in Oak Bay

West Shore RCMP K9 unit called in, didn’t get to chase

Colin Davidson won $100K on a Set for Life scratch ticket in Sooke. (BCLC photo)
Sooke man does ‘happy dance’ after scratching a $100,000 Set for Life win

Colin Davidson plans to renovate his home and invest in his daughter’s education

Improving safety at Keating Cross Road and the Pat Bay Highway is the goal of the flyover project currently in the works. The province aims to reveal the final cost and design this fall. (Screencap/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Final budget, design of Keating flyover in Central Saanich still in the works

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says information coming by this fall

UVic Department of Anthropology chair and professor, April Nowell, at home with a copy of her new book, Growing Up In the Ice Age. (Courtesy of April Nowell)
New book by University of Victoria professor explores lives of Ice Age children

April Nowell spent two decades researching archaeological evidence of children, teens

Proposed design for the Topaz Park bike and skate park elements. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria requesting feedback on Topaz Park redesign

Public input now being taken for proposed skate, bike park ideas

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Island man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Most Read